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Hong Kong Restrictions, Seoul Mayor, Christchurch Shooter: Your Tuesday Briefing

2020-07-14 00:32:08
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Good morning.

We’re covering Hong Kong’s efforts to control a new wave, Russia’s strategy in Afghanistan and how koalas could join the fight against chlamydia.

Gatherings of more than four people were banned, and dining in restaurants was prohibited after 6 p.m. That represents a disappointing setback for a city that until recently seemed to have a successful strategy to control the virus.

The restrictions may also make it harder for pro-democracy opposition to organize protests against a sweeping national security law, which was imposed on June 30.

Details: Health officials said that the territory’s new spate of cases, including another 52 announced on Monday, was mainly connected to taxi drivers, restaurants and nursing homes.

Here are the latest updates and maps of where the virus has spread.

In other developments:

  • Seventeen states sued the Trump administration on Monday over its attempt to revoke the visas of foreign students who are forced by the pandemic to take college classes entirely online.

  • South Africa reinstated a ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol to alleviate pressure on the health care system, saying that alcohol-related injuries take up extra hospital beds.

  • The World Health Organization admonished governments that are sending mixed messages to citizens on the pandemic, saying many nations are sliding backward.


“I felt defenseless and weak before the immense power,” the woman said in a statement released through her lawyer.

Mr. Park committed suicide last week after his secretary went to the police with her accusations. Her complaint cited obscene messages and photos and unwanted advances in the office. The mayor’s family has asked the authorities not to publicize the accusations, saying they are one-sided.

What’s next: By law in South Korea, a criminal case is closed if the suspect is dead. But women’s rights groups said the police should disclose what they learn, and asked for an investigation into why Seoul City Hall had dismissed previous complaints.


What began as a diplomatic channel has more recently blossomed into an alliance that has allowed the Kremlin to reassert its influence in the region. The shift coincided with increasing hostility between the United States and Russia over Syria’s civil war and other conflicts, as well as Russia’s frustration with rising instability in Afghanistan and the slow pace of the U.S. pullout.

Both Russia and the Taliban have rejected claims that any bounties were paid.

Quotable: “We did the same,” said Marc Polymeropoulos, a former C.I.A. field officer in Afghanistan who retired last year as the agency’s acting chief of operations in Europe and Eurasia. “We turned the heat up as the Russians were leaving Afghanistan.”

Snapshot: Above, a wild koala at a clinic in Toorbul, Australia. Researchers there are testing a vaccine against chlamydia, the world’s most widespread sexually transmitted infection, on the marsupials. Studying, and saving, koalas may be the key to developing a long-lasting cure for humans.

What we’re reading: This Vulture profile of the writer and actress Michaela Coel, creator of the HBO show “I May Destroy You.” Isabella Kwai, who writes our Europe briefing, calls it “a master class in the celebrity profile,” and one that “does not shy away from the unsavory parts, including her experiences of racism.”

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